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Building Up the Skyline, Streetscape and Community in the Heart of Bellevue

October 20, 2020 - by Mason Luvera

Building Up the Skyline, Streetscape and Community in the Heart of Bellevue

If you’ve taken a stroll Downtown lately, you’ve likely heard the clatter of jackhammers and most certainly seen the towering cranes. They’re busy at work piecing together elements of growth in our city – the buildings bringing new spaces to collaborate, shop, dine and play. As Vulcan Real Estate set out to develop two of Bellevue’s most striking new projects, 555 Tower and West Main, they took exactly that approach: to build spaces that grow our city, bring life to the streets and support the community along the way.

Both of these structures are striking in design and will house Amazon’s growing presence in the city. The 42 story 555 Tower will provide just under a million square feet of office space for the tech giant, with West Main’s three buildings adding an additional million square feet when completed. While these buildings are state-of-the-art office towers, Vulcan also designed each to contribute to the urban experience of the city they’re within. 

Both 555 Tower and West Main will bring new amenities to the Downtown streetscape. Sitting directly along the path of Bellevue’s Grand Connection – the pedestrian corridor that runs from the Civic Center District to Meydenbauer Bay Park – 555 Tower incorporates impactful streetscape improvements. From the construction of a large and inviting courtyard plaza to new greenspaces throughout the building’s public areas, the building will transform this section of the Grand Connection. Vulcan also used intentional design for the four acre West Main development – the project’s three towers will sit around a 20,000 square foot landscaped plaza, with pathways connecting pedestrians throughout. The building will also be eye-catching; the facades will be made of colorful stainless-steel mosaics, spanning the ground floor all the way to the roof. Both buildings will also set stringent environmental standards, each aiming for LEED certification.

While one of the largest companies in the world will occupy the many floors of office space in both projects, Vulcan also made a commitment to create dynamic spaces ideal for small businesses to thrive. 555 Tower includes a 22,000 square foot two-story retail pavilion directly adjacent to the Grand Connection corridor, and West Main’s courtyard and pedestrian pathways will be surrounded by diverse street-level business spaces. Combining public amenities, retail and restaurant space and thousands of office workers in one area not only provides more for the community, but spurs economic opportunity across the board.

“The positive economic impacts of these two major Bellevue developments by Vulcan cannot be overstated,” Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson, said. “Thanks to the hard work of city councilmembers, staff and community members – past and present – Bellevue’s downtown core continues to grow into a major destination for companies and their employees… I’m excited to see these projects come to life.” 

The company is also supporting the community they’re building with. From keeping public improvements in mind while designing projects to investing in small business support through the Heart of Bellevue campaign, Vulcan is expanding the skyline while helping Downtown grow as a place where small businesses, residents, workers and visitors can thrive.

“Vulcan is proud to be supporting Bellevue Downtown Association’s Heart of Bellevue campaign,” Vulcan’s Chief Real Estate Officer, Ada Healey, said. “We believe that small businesses are vital to thriving neighborhoods and we are thrilled to be playing a role in the growth of Downtown.”

Construction is underway on both 555 Towers and West Main, expected to wrap up in 2023. In the meantime, when you hear those jackhammers or see those cranes moving, you know they’re not only signs of a changing skyline, but new opportunities for the Heart of Bellevue.

This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.